Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Broken Storm

The last...well, forever, has been hectic. More than usual the last few days. It's kind of hard to describe the changes, but what it all boils down to is the war is mostly over.

I know, right? No one expected that. I'd like to think it was due to the UAS hitting here, our home, and meeting resistance the likes of which they could barely imagine. That our stalwart defense and powerful counter-strikes made them realize the whole thing was a bad idea. We know now that wasn't the case. There is not only a cease-fire in place but an active reorganization of the UAS as an entity. Turns out the misinformation being fed to the other side was larger in scope and more clever in execution than we realized.

Thanks to the efforts of the UAS citizens who quit the fight and took asylum in the Union, the majority of the UAS forces have offered a halt to all hostilities. Many factors drove the decision, from the now obvious misinformation about us to the sheer need to eat. That one caught me by surprise--the UAS pushed up their attack timelines because our people were destroying their supplies too efficiently. The food shortage on that side of the war was much worse than our information led us to believe. Not a soldier among them was eating more than half rations by the time they attacked Haven.

The leadership's idea was to strike Haven and take it down fast to resupply. Take our crops, our stores, and move on to the next target. When we remained strong against them, the soldiers fighting us began to truly lose heart. The rigors of fighting, travel, and the stress of the situation combined with an empty belly were enough to make most of them question what they were doing even before the first bullet flew. Once they saw us hurt them badly and successfully defend, it broke many of them. They knew there was no easy meal ahead.

It was that mentality which gave the defectors their chance. A small crack in the armor to exploit, and much to my pleasure one they plied with reason rather than violence. There were small revolts when the majority made their will known, put down quickly and with great prejudice. It's not a perfect peace, but our people are working with theirs. The truth is simple: they outnumber us, and even a hungry and tired army is a danger. Things could still end badly. I managed a few minutes with Will, and he understands the risks better than anyone. More, he pointed out some problems most people hadn't considered.

Like what to do with those armies. Sending them home without supplies would be a death sentence for many of them. The cautious thing to do would be to allow them to leave and work on details of any peace slowly and methodically over time.

So we're totally not doing that. Instead we're fielding huge teams of hunters to range far and wide. We're harvesting what crops we can right now. We've opened several of our rabbit breeding pens--we have many of them, but that fact has remained secret out of necessity until now--and at this very moment we've got fifty men and women cooking in continuous shifts. Giant vats of stew and soup, filling and rich. Maybe it isn't exactly French cuisine, but I've seen a few of the UAS soldiers come through here with a grin on their face while they blew the steam off their food.

And they keep coming. In groups arranged with our people, unarmed but not without dignity. They come and eat, some even receiving medical care. War is the strangest of human activities, where on week men are mortal enemies and the next break bread together.

Our people are feeding them, helping to make them strong again. Is it a risk? Yes. It's also the right thing to do. The UAS forces have been kind enough to send in heavily armed patrols to clear out the zombie swarms around Haven. They've risked their lives to defend us since this tenuous peace began, and they're risking the total dissolution of their fledgling nation by taking a chance on us. They've shown a willingness to reach for the best possible outcome. The least we can do--what we owe ourselves and those yet to be--is match their efforts.

1 comment:

  1. We're about two hours west of Haven headin your way. Can you feed another thousand? Our reserves ran out last night.